Cosmetics test exposes dangerous chemicals

PHOENIX - You use them everyday, but how much do you know about the chemicals found in makeup, deodorant, even lotion and soaps? 

ABC15 is showing you the toxins and potential health hazards found in popular skincare products.

Some include shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, face wash, toner, moisturizer, hair shine, hair spray, foundation, powder, mascara, blush, lipstick and lip gloss.

The products are made by different manufacturers and you might not be aware of what ingredients you slather on everyday.

That's why Nicole Deopere is on a mission to inform and educate women and men about the lotions and potions we all use.

"A lot of the chemicals that we're trying to get out of the products are known carcinogens," Deopere said.

Consumer advocates point to scientific studies showing these chemicals decrease fertility, cause allergies and are even linked to cancer.

So, how do you know what's in your products? 

You can find out on a database from the Environmental Working Group , a nonprofit research organization that rates the toxicity of 69,000 cosmetic products, including Deopere's foundation.

"It's overall rating is a 5," Deopere said.

That claims Deopere's foundation has a high level of developmental and reproductive toxicity.

"I feel shocked about it," Deopere said. She bought it at Whole Foods and assumed it was safe.

"[I'm] glad that I now know because I will probably buy a different foundation," she said.

We checked the database and here is what we found:

Olay Tinted Moisturizer gets the highest toxicity rating, a 10.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Firming Cream Body Lotion also gets a 10 rating.

Cover Girl Natureluxe Foundation gets a 9.

The EWG claims all three products contain cancer-causing ingredients. 

But, is this all over-hyped? 

Valley Dermatologist Dr. Neel Patel said while it's important to be wary, it's also imperative you consider what the research actually shows.

"Although some studies may say in animals they can produce certain things, most of the time, in humans, they tend to be safe," Dr. Patel said.

Beyond that, he says in many cases, chemicals like Phthalates, Parabens and Formaldehyde serve a necessary purpose.

"Parabensis a common preservative and preservatives are important because they do keep products safe," Dr. Patel said.

Still concerning to Deopere is the lack of FDA regulation of the cosmetics industry. 

"If a company has an ingredient listed on their label called 'fragrance' that's basically considered a 'trade secret' and they don't have to disclose all of the ingredients in that fragrance," she said.

She points out you're not putting on just one product with trace amounts of these chemicals, but potentially dozens throughout the day.

Still, Dr. Patel said there's no solid evidence the ingredients in any of these cosmetic products are harmful to your health. 

To find out the toxicity of the products you use go to: www.ewg.com/skindeep  or The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics .

If you find your product has a high toxic rating, will you stop using it? 

Go to our ABC15 Facebook page and let us know.

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